PS 363

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PS 363, also known as American Constitutional Law II, is the second in a two-term set of courses on American Supreme Court jurisprudence offered at Knox. It counts for 1 credit, and is currently taught by Lane Sunderland.

Course Description[edit]

Official Course Description[edit]

"The rights and liberties of individuals under the American Constitution: civil rights, procedural rights, equal protection of the laws, due process of law, and freedom of expression and religion."[1]

Credits and Prerequisites[edit]

The course is worth one credit (PS 362, the prequel course, is also worth one credit). The course counts toward satisfying the Oral Presentation and Writing requirements. The prerequisite is PS 362.


  • Constitutional Law (15th edition), by Kathleen M. Sullivan and Gerald Gunther, ISBN 978-1587787768.
  • Constitutional Law 2006 supplement, by Kathleen M. Sullivan and Gerald Gunther, ISBN 978-1599411682.

Course Format[edit]

The format of the course consists of a review of Supreme Court justices' opinions on dozens of landmark Supreme Court cases over a range of issues, as found in condensed form in the texts. The cases span challenges to amendment rights, separation of powers, state rights, and so on. Students are required to summarize the opinions presented in each case (majority/plurality, concurring, and dissenting) for homework. About two or three cases are discussed each day. For each case, Professor Sunderland picks one student to read their summary, and discussion ensues. Each student is allowed one free day if they don't have the summary when called, but he often takes volunteers if there are any. The entire class cycles through in half a term, and the list is reset, although some ultimately are called on more than once in a cycle. There is an essay midterm as well as an essay final. Based on the Supreme Court brief term paper completed in PS 362, the class now prepares with their team to present arguments in front of Judge Ruben Castillo, Federal District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago. Practice presentation sessions are held in addition to normal class meetings. In addition to this there is a 15-20 page term paper on the jurisprudence of a current or former Supreme Court justice.

Course Schedule[edit]

Typically, the course is offered each spring term (with PS 362 in Winter Term), but due to Professor Sunderland's leave for the first part of the 2007-2008 year PS 362 will be offered in the spring and PS 363 not at all in that year.


Not offered


Term Days Period Location Instructor
Spring 2007 MWF 5 GDH 105 Lane Sunderland

Court Brief Case: Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. ___ (Partial-Birth Abortion, 2007)


Term Days Period Location Instructor
Spring 2006 MWF 5 GDH 105 Lane Sunderland

Court Brief Case: GI Forum v. Perry, 547 U.S. ___ (Texas Redistricting, 2006)